The ancient Venetian Comedy of Art was based on the so-called Canovacci, or rough traces on which the representations were built with the skill and “craft” of the actors. This is why the Comedy called itself “suddenly”. The stories arose through the construction of “fixed characters” (made even more stable in some cases with the use of the mask) who moved and acted in the plot always within defined character and social tracks: like the instruments without score of a jazz orchestra. Practically, when there were several characters of the same category, there was a doubling or tripling of the same mask, with some small variations only in the name or in the costume (Arlechino, Trivelino, Tabarino…).
The main categories of the Commedia dell’Arte were:
a) The “Masters”, divided into two categories: the first was the Magnificent – serious part, which included the merchant Pantalone, the Notary, the Noble – the second was the Doctor – comic part, which included serious and ridiculous characters: Ballanzone, El Medico de la peste …
b) The “Daughters of the Masters”, or “In love”: Silvia, Lucrezia, Laura …
c) I Servi or “Zanni”: Arlechino (strictly with a “c”), Trivelino, Tabarrino, Fritellino, Scapino
d) The “Suitors of the Daughters of the Masters”, divided into “Lovers”: Leandro, Flavio, Ottavio … and in “Capitani”: Spezzafer, Spavento, Bombarda, Tagliacantoni, Matamoro … Characters all smoke and no roast, destined to be defeated by the Zanni on duty. The Commedia dell’Arte, like the Neapolitan Scripted, was recited on the street and the audience belonged overwhelmingly to the people: it is therefore logical that, if there was to be a winner, he belonged to the most oppressed classes: those of servants.
e) The “Desiderate dai Padroni”, in turn divided into “Servette” (the female equivalent of Zanni, such as Colombina. Arlechina, Coralina …) and the languid “Courtesans”: La Cantante, La Ballerina, Rossana, Rosmunda …
A world made of hinges, hilarity and vulgarity that was swept away by those who, Carlo Goldoni in the first place, managed to encode every aspect of the script and of the theatrical machine.
Height 26 cm. Width 24 cm.
Engraved golden leaf and enamels on glass